Volume LVIFebruary 2009Number 1

What Happens to a Dream (Un)deferred

Every day, people come up with brilliant ideas. Many times, no one acts on those ideas. In his poem, "A Dream Deferred," Langston Hughes asks, "What happens to a dream deferred?" He answers, "Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?... Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?" Every once in a while, a rare few put in the effort to make their ideas explode into something great and will see their dreams come to life.

Bro. Raymond Bush, a dual member of the Kite and Key Lodge No. 811, Allentown, and H. Stanley Goodwin Lodge No. 648, Bethlehem, and Bro. George Radecsky, a dual member of Huguenot Lodge No. 377, Kutztown, and H. Stanley Goodwin Lodge No. 648, had an idea that would become something great.

"It was an idea born from the fact that as you do re-enactments, you meet many brothers - and sisters actually - from the Order of the Eastern Star," Bro. Radecsky said. "We started out wanting to be a lodge, but realized that wouldn't be possible because we wanted to include brothers from different states." Undeterred, together they co-founded the Revolutionary Sons of the Compass and Square, Inc.

This organization, incorporated on Oct. 10, 2006, allows 18th century living historians to meet at historic sites and battlefields during Revolutionary War events to share in the brotherhood.

"We portray what life was like during the founding of our great nation from 1774 to 1783, when we struggled to give birth to the ideals of freedom for all. What makes this very special for me is that so many of our Founding Fathers were Freemasons. It is an honor to be walking in the footsteps of Bro. George Washington and Bro. Ben Franklin," Bro. Radecsky said.

Though gathering with brothers from many states is a major aspect of the Revolutionary Sons of the Compass and Square, Inc., it is also about promoting the fraternity and educating the public about the important roles Freemasons played in forming the nation.

"In contrast with the term re-enactors, who simply play at re-enacting historical events, we educate the public in all aspects of life during the Revolutionary War and avoid any anachronisms or 21st century displays of living while in sight of the public," Bro. Bush explained.

"In the process of our show of fellowship at these shows, a few of our fellow historians have joined lodges so as to become members of 'the Sons,' which gives me great pride and a feeling of accomplishment that a simple idea can still make a difference," Bro. Radecsky said.

With the help of Bro. Mark A. Haines, R.W. Grand Secretary, and several others from the Grand Lodge who gave approvals and direction, Bros. Radecsky and Bush recognized their dream. R.W. Past Grand Master Ronald A. Aungst, Sr., approved the Revolutionary Sons of the Compass and Square, Inc., to form under the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. On July 12, 2006, the Revolutionary Sons of the Compass and Square, Inc., was incorporated.

The first meeting of the Revolutionary Sons of the Compass and Square, Inc., took place at the 225th anniversary of our nation's victory at the Yorktown battlefield in Virginia.

"Yorktown was a momentous affair, including [thousands of] Revolutionary War re-enactors from all over the country, many of whom are members of the Craft and have expressed an interest in being a participant in the Revolutionary Sons of the Compass and Square, Inc.," Bro. Bush wrote in a letter to the Grand Lodge. After "battle" one day, a group of men from the Revolutionary Sons of the Compass and Square, Inc., held a meeting at the peace memorial where local brethren were waiting to join them. The local brothers thanked the men for remembering what happened at Yorktown and for commemorating Freemasonry's contribution to the Revolutionary War victory. "They also welcomed us and other members and brethren to join them at their regularly scheduled meetings and breakfast at Williamsburg," Bro. Bush wrote. The men saw an original silver piece owned by one of the lodges that Bro. Paul Revere crafted. Bro. Bush described his Yorktown experience as "a truly remarkable event to remember and one that will not die after Yorktown."

Another event took place when the Continental Line, a large organization of living historians, celebrated its 20th anniversary at Mount Vernon. On the Sunday morning of the event, the brethren were able to hold a meeting at the grave site of Bro. George Washington. "The thrill of kneeling at the Altar with the Bible, Compasses and Square with so many of our Masonic brothers from all of the 13 original colonies was a priceless experience. All that could be heard was the sound of the wind in the trees and words of our prayer for all of our fallen brothers and the sacrifices of the fraternity over the history of our country," Bro. Radecsky said.

"The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania only grew in Masonic rapport, brotherly love and honor for recognizing this - 'The Sons,'" Bro. Bush concluded. A simple idea, spawned from an interest and lifestyle, was allowed to grow into something great.

Deferring an idea and watching it melt away takes little work and is therefore unrewarding. Fulfilling a dream may be easier than anticipated. "Never let your dream die, because then, it's never going to happen," Bro. Radecsky asserted. "There was no heartache or tears... The Grand Lodge worked with us so nicely that it was a great experience." The steadfast work of people like Bros. Bush and Radecsky helps to "Protect Our Heritage for Future Generations."

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